Community Leader Frowns Against Car Gifts To Farmer


Mr. Clement Iwara, a community leader in Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area in Cross River, has advised the state government not to reward the winner of the Leboku Yam Festival with a car.

Iwara gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Ugep, Cross River, on Sunday.

He said that rather than giving a car to an individual as gift during a new yam festival, such money should be distributed among participating farmers to enable them improve their farms.

The community leader was reacting to the car gift often given by the state government to the best farmer in the Ugep during the community’s annual “Leboku” New Yam Festival.

Iwara said: “My advice is that government should not make one single person to win a car in the festival. Instead, money should be distributed to farmers for more farm seedlings and implements.

“If government gives out N1 million, it can be distributed to farmers for more investment and better yields in subsequent seasons and this will further increase the interest in farming among women and youths.”

The community leader pointed out that cash assistance to farmers would turn around farming in the area, make more food available and reduce price of food items in the state.

According to Iwara, that will also make the people of the community happy and further enhance the growth of the state’s economy.

“Even if the government decides to give such money as soft loans to the farmers, the people will be ready to pay back. I am sure that before it will be due for repayment, the returns will have been bountiful.

“It is better than one person going home with a car.”

Iwara, however, noted that the involvement of the state government in the celebration of the festival had ignited passion in the event and improved its richness.

“The Leboku festival being celebrated today is more advanced than it was in those days because of the government involvement.

“Then, we celebrated the festival according to our resources but now that the government has come in, the celebration is now on a higher standard.”

He said that many people in the community had become interested in farming in anticipation of the fallout of the annual festival.

“Everybody is now trying by all means to see that he wins a car by going to farm, including the women.”

The New Yam Festival (or Leboku festival) is an annual event celebrated by the people of Ugep in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River to interact, dance and wear their native attire toward promoting their culture.

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